Analog Devices, Microsoft to Mass Produce 3D Imaging Products

Analog Devices (ADI) has entered into a strategic collaboration with Microsoft Corp. to leverage Microsoft’s 3D time-of-flight (ToF) sensor technology, allowing customers to easily create high-performance 3D applications that bring higher degrees of depth accuracy and work regardless of the environmental conditions in the scene.

September 23, 2020. By Manu Tayal

Semiconductor manufacturing company Analog Devices (ADI) has entered into a strategic collaboration with Microsoft Corp. to leverage Microsoft’s 3D time-of-flight (ToF) sensor technology, allowing customers to easily create high-performance 3D applications that bring higher degrees of depth accuracy and work regardless of the environmental conditions in the scene.

The company’s technical expertise will build upon Microsoft Azure Kinect technology to deliver leading ToF solutions to a much broader audience in areas such as Industry 4.0, automotive, gaming, augmented reality, computational photography and videography.

Currently, the industrial market is seeing a push for 3D imaging systems that can be used in harsh environments where cutting-edge applications such as human-collaboration robots, room mapping, and inventory management systems are required to bring Industry 4.0 to life. ToF applications are also needed to create safer automobile experiences for drivers and passengers by outfitting vehicles with occupancy detection and driver monitoring capabilities.

Commenting on the product, Duncan Bosworth, General Manager, Consumer Business Unit, Analog Devices, said “our customers want depth image capture that ‘just works’ and is as easy as taking a photo.”

Bosworth further said “Microsoft’s ToF 3D sensor technology used in the HoloLens mixed-reality headset and Azure Kinect Development Kit is seen as the industry standard for time-of-flight technologies. Combining this technology with custom-built solutions from ADI, our customers can easily deploy and scale the next generation of high-performance applications they demand, out of the box.”

“Analog Devices is an established leader in translating physical phenomena into digital information,” said Cyrus Bamji, Microsoft Partner Hardware Architect, Microsoft.

Bamji added that “this collaboration will expand market access of our ToF sensor technology and enable the development of commercial 3D sensors, cameras, and related solutions, which will be compatible with a Microsoft ecosystem built on top of Microsoft depth, Intelligent Cloud, and Intelligent Edge platforms.”

ADI’s ToF 3D sensor technology projects precisely controlled laser light in durations of nanoseconds, which then reflect from the scene onto a high-resolution image sensor giving a depth estimate for every pixel in the image array.

These products enable highly accurate depth measurement, low noise, high robustness to multipath interference, and calibration solutions for ease of manufacturing. The first 3D imaging products using Microsoft technology are expected to release by the end of 2020.

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